Thursday, 7 November 2013

Peak Oil... and East Devon

Recently, there have been two presentations given in Sidmouth which have considered the issue of 'peak oil'.

In September, District Cllr Mike Allen addressed the Futures Forum on the subject of 'sustainable communities' in East Devon:
Futures Forum: Development for Sustainability: Futures Forum meeting
Futures Forum: Development for Sustainability: sustainable communities
The issue of 'peak oil' provides important context:

Similarly, the theme of 'peak oil' was the starting point to a presentation given by Kevin Frediani and Paul Redmore of Bicton College to the Sidmouth Science Festival last month:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Science Festival: fossil-fuel free farming: Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th October
Futures Forum: Fossil Free Farming: F3 at the Sidmouth Science Festival: the presentation

The District Council is determined to put sustainable development at the heart of its long-term planning:
Futures Forum: Sustainable Development: and East Devon

In its Local Development Framework of 2009, it asked for feedback about how its vision should be considered - and interestingly most responses looked at 'sustainability' issues:

Question 2.1 - Do you consider that the vision is appropriate for East Devon? 

Comments by those who answered ‘Yes’ were largely supportive and included – vision is wide ranging but couple of key omissions – address minimising resource use, developing a strong local economy, rather than greening urban areas and tree planting in new developments enhance biodiversity networks, reducing the need to travel where practicable is not strong enough for a vision – facilitate and encourage travel by methods other than the private car, the issue of flood risk is not covered. Vision should address the twin problems of peak oil and climate change much more urgently; no prioritisation or focus - fear that resources will not allow delivery on all fronts; core strategy needs to show how the vision, objectives and strategy are to be delivered and by whom and when; Exmouth should not be included with other coastal towns in paragraph 2.5 as it does not have the same retirement bias; concerns about overemphasis on the West End to detriment of the remainder of the district; possibility of conflict between some of the issues will require resolution; affordable housing is a key requirement. 


In its Carbon Management Plan, the District Council addressed the issue of peak oil:

Rising energy costs: although opinions are somewhat divided, the world is close to, if not past, the tipping point for peak oil. This means that oil supplies will be reduced whilst demand continues to increase and, what oil there is, will be more expensive to extract. This will result in further increases in the price of oil. Additionally, as the UK becomes a net importer of energy, so the security of energy supply can no longer be guaranteed. 

See also: 

The East Devon AONB has an interest:
East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - Events and news
Futures Forum: East Devon AONB Sustainable Development Fund ...the spread of projects

The Transition Towns are leading the debate on these issues - especially the need to reassess dependence on expensive fossil fuels:
Futures Forum: Peak Oil: 10 Years After 'The Party's Over': an interview with Richard Heinberg
Futures Forum: Peak Oil... and Transition Towns ...and the energy descent action plan
Futures Forum: Peak Oil... and the Transition Town movement

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